Today’s moment of history:
On April 15, 1912, the British luxury liner RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland more than 2.5 hours after hitting an iceberg; 1514 people died, less than half survived.
In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died nine hours after he was shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at the Ford Theater in Washington; Andrew Johnson became the 17th president of the country.
In 1892, General Electric Co., formed by the merger of Edison Electric Light Co. and other firms, was registered in Schenectady, New York.
In 1945, during World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died April 12, was buried in the Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park, New York.
In 1947, Jackie Robinson, the first black major league baseball player of the modern era, made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day at Abbets Field. (The Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves, 5-3.)
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In 1955, Ray Croc opened the first McDonald’s franchise restaurant in De Plains, Illinois.
In 1974, members of the Symbion Liberation Army opened a branch of Hibernia Bank in San Francisco; A member of the group was SLA abduction victim Patricia Hearst, who still had the name “Tanya” (Hearst later said she was forced to participate).
In 1989, 96 people died at Hillsboro Stadium in Sheffield, England. Students in Beijing launched a series of pro-democracy protests; demonstrations erupted in dispersal by the government in Tiananmen Square.
In 1998, Pol Pot, a notorious Khmer Rouge leader, died at the age of 72, evading prosecution for the deaths of 2 million Cambodians.
In 2009, prompted by conservative commentators and bloggers, tens of thousands of protesters staged “tea parties” across the country to connect to the collective anxiety caused by the poor economy, government spending and aid.
In 2012, North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong Un made his first public speech since coming to power since the death of his father Kim Jong Il in December last year, proving himself a strong military leader who is not afraid of foreign powers. Passengers and crew of the cruise ship MS Balmoral prayed at the site in the North Atlantic, where the Titanic sank 100 years ago.
In 2013, at the finish of the Boston Marathon, two bombs made from a pressure cooker exploded, killing two women and an 8-year-old boy and injuring more than 260. Suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police; his brother Dzhakhar Tsarnaev was convicted, convicted and sentenced to death. (The Federal Court of Appeals overturned the death sentence, but the Supreme Court reinstated it in March 2022.)
In 2017, North Korea demonstrated its intercontinental ballistic missiles at a massive military demonstration in central Pyongyang as it celebrated the birthday of country founder Kim Il Sung in 1912 along with his grandson Kim Jong Un, who watched with admiration.
In 2019, a fire engulfed the top of Notre Dame Cathedral when the sublime landmark of Paris underwent renovations; the flames collapsed the spire of the cathedral and spilled over onto one of its iconic rectangular towers, but firefighters said the church structure had been saved.
In 2020, the government reported that the country’s industrial production in March recorded the biggest decline since the U.S. was demobilized at the end of World War II, when factories stopped amid a coronavirus epidemic. The Treasury Department has confirmed that an unprecedented move by President Donald Trump will appear in the incentive checks that the IRS will send to tens of millions of Americans.
In 2021, eight people were killed at the FedEx plant in Indianapolis by a former FedEx employee who later committed suicide. The White House has announced the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats and sanctions against dozens of people and companies; these steps were to hold the Kremlin accountable for meddling in the 2020 presidential election and cyber-hacking of federal government agencies SolarWinds. The defense in the trial for the murder of former officer Derek Chavin in Minneapolis in the case of George Floyd’s death has dropped its case without bringing Chaven to court.